Irrigation, Water Management, And Development In The Zambezi Valley: The Case of Chitsungo Ward
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This paper focuses on irrigation, water management, and development in Chitsungo Ward in the Zambezi valley. It is an analysis of how the Dande Irrigation Project, which is mid-way under construction, has and is perceived to affect the local people. The paper focuses on how the potential beneficiaries of the scheme are trying to adapt the project to their life-world. This analysis, therefore, looks into why and how new patterns of relationships shape themselves around crucial resources such as water and land. The contention throughout the paper is that the project structure and organisation should not only be feasible from the technical point of view but must also be sustainable in socio-economic and institutional terms. I argue in the paper that consistent with national policies, interventions must be formulated to enhance cost recovery and cost efficiency while at the same time addressing key institutional issues such as leadership legitimacy, regulations and legislation, responsibility and accountability, and requisite skills within which beneficiary participation is enhanced. It is against this background that water management comes as a central and potentially explosive issue in irrigation management. For practical purposes of policy making, planning and implementing a people-friendly irrigation project, this paper highlights some of the overlooked cultural and social processes of change, together with the consequences and outcomes of such interventions.